Home > GoodDevelop > Revisiting the 2001 La Rioja Alta, Ardanza

Revisiting the 2001 La Rioja Alta, Ardanza


Almost one year ago I opened the 2001 La Rioja Alta, Ardanza, Reserva Especial.  While there are yearly releases of Ardanza only special vintages have been designated Reserva Especial.  As a sense of how rare this designation is it has only occured in two previous vintages: 1964 and 1973.  We had a hard time finding interest with our first bottle and ultimately did not favor it.  Phil and I discussed my post a few times over the year.  I rather enjoy classic Rioja so the bottle was probably underperforming from its then recent transit to Washington, DC.  While I often revisit the less expensive wines I write about these more expensive wines are typically tasted once due to the cost.  When I saw this wine on the shelves at MacArthur Beverages this month I knew I had to try it again.  This bottle was much better.  With Eric Asimov’s top two Rioja Reservas currently available at MacArthur Beverages I would grab a bottle of this wine along with the 2001 Bodegas Hermanos Pecina.  Open them both up with your friends.

2001 La Rioja Alta, Vina Ardanza, Reserva Especial, Rioja – $30
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel then aged for three years in four-year old American oak casks.  The medium-strength nose revealed textured fruit, spice, and wood notes.  In the mouth the wine was medium-bodied with a mixture of savory and tart red fruit showing subtle strong grip while retaining delicacy.  There were notes of spice and wood box mixing with citrus-like tannins which coated the teeth and lips.  There was understated weight in the finish with tart and bluer fruit.  There is plenty of acidity throughout.  The mature notes are underpinned by a youthful mass that is suggestive of long development.   ***(*) 2017-2030.

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